Categories: Press Release

Le Foyer des Artistes, Derry City’s resident classical orchestra, invites six young singers to perform on 16 March 2023 at Saint Columb’s Hall. 

Founded by Derry native Darren Hargan, Le Foyer des Artistes is sponsored by Alchemy Technology Services and Fleming Steel, with funding also received from Derry City and Strabane District Council. 

Come and hear tomorrow’s stars when they perform at Saint Columb’s Hall. Le Foyer des Artistes has a week-long workshop called The Young Singers Collective. The aim is to discover and promote emerging talents on the cusp of an international singing career.

During the week of 13 March 2023, six young singers from Spain, France, Italy and Ireland will come to Derry for a rare opportunity. The singers will work with an artistic team of internationally acclaimed coaches, including special guests Caroline Dowdle (vocal coach), Anthony Legge (vocal coach) and Pierre-Emmanuele Rousseau (Director).

Caroline Dowdle enjoys an international career as a pianist accompanying singers and instrumentalists for live and recorded events, whether they be in London, Paris, Vienna or Moscow. In addition to her position as a faculty member at the Royal College of Music, Caroline is also the Head of Opera for the Atelier Lyrique at the Verbier Festival, Switzerland and the Samling Academy Musical Director in the northeast of England.

Anthony Legge was Head of Music at English National Opera for 14 years. He was a judge on the Channel 4 Operatunity series. Following eight years as Associate Music Director of Opera Australia in Sydney, where he conducted much of the operatic repertoire and coached many international singers, Anthony is now working with Bayreuth, Covent Garden and the London orchestras, to name a few.

Pierre-Emmanuele Rousseau is an award-winning stage Director. His experience in staging operas has taken him from his home in France to places like Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and Italy. Pierre-Emmanuele’s talent extends to set and costume design. Audiences the world over appreciate his talent for turning music into visual art.

The six singers are:

• Alexandre Baldo, France

• Ami Hewitt, Ireland

• Elena Garrido Madrona, Spain

• Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada, Ireland

• Owen Lucas, Northern Ireland

• Riccardo Gatto, Italy

Founder and Artistic Director Darren Hargan commented: “The Young Singers Collective is an exciting and unique opportunity to hear some of the world’s new generation of star singers as they begin their international stage careers. 

“One of many opportunities for the local community to get involved is through our Open House. The public can visit Saint Columb’s Hall, free-of-charge, on the 14 and 15 of March for an intimate view of how singers and coaches work together.”

The culmination of the Young Singers Collective will be the Concert Finale in Derry on 16 March 2023 with Le Foyer des Artistes, accompanied on piano by Artistic Director Darren Hargan. The evening’s repertoire includes well-known arias by Puccini and Verdi. The Saint Columb’s Hall doors open at 7 pm. The concert begins at 7.30 pm.

About the Young Singer’s Collective

The competition for a place in the Young Singers Collective 2024 is open to all singers of any nationality aged 32 and below. Candidates are invited to submit an application form, together with their CV and proof of birthdate, three recent audio or video recordings, a comprehensive repertoire list and a signed letter of recommendation from a professional. Applications must be submitted via before 30 September 2023. 


Alchemy Technology Services, Fleming Steel, ChallengeCurve, LearningPool, NuPrint, Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Northern Ireland Arts Council generously support Le Foyer des Artistes.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit



Robert Henderson

Artistic Office